Knit the purl and purl the knit?

Hi all,
This is my first post in a knitting forum. I am hopelessly confused. I’m not a beginning knitter but probably low intermediate.

I purchased a beard pattern online yesterday. (the forum won’t let me post a link…maybe I can post it below)

I think it was written with the more experienced knitter in mind and I am hopelessly lost. I really need the stitches spelled out for me but I am told to simply work in pattern.

Here are the directions:
Main beard is worked in seed stitch throughout
right side rows: K1P1
wrong side rows: P1K1
O.K. I get that much. I’ve made a dishcloth in seed stitch.

Then it says:
The stitch count will vary on every row, so to maintain the seed stitch pattern just knit the purl stitches, and purl the knit stitches.

O.K. that doesn’t make any sense to me. It seems to me that if I end on a purl and start on a purl in the next row that I’m purling a purl.

There was a video on this forum that tried to address this question from a different angle but I’m still incredibly confused.

I work in pattern for 23 stitches on the first row, 22 stitches on the 2nd row, 21 stitches on the 3rd row and I have no idea which stitches I’m knitting and which I’m purling. I would love to just write the entire thing out because I get very confused when I try to hold too much information in my head. I just need to write it down but I don’t even know how to write it.

The reason the stitches are decreasing is because of a wrap and turn thing which I found some youtube videos that perhaps have cleared that up for me.

The pattern says"If you’ve ever made socks with a short-row heel, the chin part of the beard is exactly like that but in seed stitch"

Ha Ha. I’ve never made socks with any kind of heel. So we’ll see how this goes.

Any help would be much appreciated!! Thanks. :slight_smile:

Here is the link to a picture of my beard.

Knit the purls and purl the knits refers to how the stitches look on the current row, not what you did to the stitches on the previous row. So if the first one looks like a knit you’d purl it, and if it looks like a purl, you’ll knit it.

You need to look at the stitches on the row you are currently working on. Put the needle with the stitches on it in your left hand like you’re going to start knitting the next row. Now, take a look at the first stitch and see if it’s a knit stitch or a purl stitch. Does it look like a V or does it have a bump facing you??

If it looks like a V (a knit stitch) - then PURL that stitch. If it looks like a bump (a purl stitch) - then KNIT that stitch. Do the same for each stitch across the row. Because of the decreasing, this is one of those patterns where you are just going to have to “wing it” as you go!!!

Good luck!!

If you’re still trying to master short rows and would like a simpler way than what’s commonly taught in America, I found German short rows very very easy: and

By the way, it’s much easier to do seed stitch if you DON’T have to follow a written pattern. As Sue said, you can figure out what comes next by remembering that you put a knit stitch on top of a purl stitch and a purl stitch on top of a knit stitch.

When working seed stitch, I’ve noticed that sometimes the knit stitches can look like purl stitches (i.e., they can seem to have a bump on the side facing you). If you have trouble determining whether it’s a knit or a purl stitch you’re getting ready to work, it helps to pull the stitch down from the needle a bit. Then you can clearly see what it is.

Are you using bulky yarn for this? If so, you might want to practice seed stitch using light-colored worsted weight yarn. That may help you understand the pattern and recognize the stitches.

Thanks ladies,
I’m going to cast on for the 3rd time and try it again. Thankfully it’s a short project so I’m not discouraged with all the ripping. I eventually want to make 3 so I keep telling myself the time I put in on the front end will reap benefits once I figure it out and make more of the same.

Thanks for all the tips. I’m not good at winging it, but it seems I don’t have much of a choice here. :slight_smile: Thanks for the tip on pulling the stitch down a bit. Yes my yarn is bulky and dark brown and all the stitches look bumpy because of the seed pattern. But I will look for the V (knit) or bump (pearl) and do the opposite.

Now if i can get the wrap and turn thing to work out I’ll be very happy.

Hi silliness7!

I hope you have gotten this sorted but I wanted to post and make sure you knew there is errata online for this pattern. You might want to double check it against your pattern if you haven’t already. This link is for the pattern’s page on Ravelry, where you can find the errata link.

Good luck! I’m scared of short rows but this looks like it would good practice if you make a blonde or silver beard so the stitches are easy to see! :mrgreen:

THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! I did not know that. I will definitely need to print that out. Love the bat hat that is shown on the errata page too. I have some batman fans who would love that once I figure out this beardo. :slight_smile:

I have figured out how to “read” my knit and pearl stitches and I’m so happy. :cheering:

Now I have a question about the wrap and turn. I’ll try posting here instead of starting a new thread.

I found an article online and a video online to help me. So what I can tell is…

I bring the thread backward or forward depending on whether I just did a knit or a pearl stitch, then slip as if to pearl, then bring the thread to the opposite direction from the first adjustment, THEN I’m supposed to slip the stitch back to the left needle. However neither article nor video explained if I was to slip it back as if to knit or as if to pearl. Does it matter? Thanks ladies. You have been tremendously helpful!!!

Always slip a stitch as if to purl, unless it’s part of a decrease and this isn’t. That just means how you insert the needle, not where the yarn is which remains where ever it is.